Sanyo PRO-200 Review

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Introduction and Design
This is a CDMA phone offered with Sprint.
Introduction:

The PRO-200 is the second of two QChat devices Sanyo has available for Sprint. It is the entry-level phone in Sprint’s QChat lineup, and its features are accordingly thin. Unlike its brethren, the PRO-700, the 200 is not certified to Military Specifications. This makes it a bit smaller and consumer-friendly though, and the quality is still apparent. Of course as a QChat device the main feature is its ability to use the Nextel Direct Connect (NDC) service on the CDMA network, finally bridging the gap between the divergent iDEN and CDMA customer bases. Other features include EVDO Rev. A data- required for NDC- Bluetooth, GPS and a high quality speakerphone.

Included in the box you’ll find:
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Holster with swivel clip
  • Users guides


Design:

The PRO-200 shares the same design base as the PRO-700, but differentiates itself with its non-rugged exterior. This makes the 200 a hair smaller in width and depth, but the difference is noticeable in-hand. Like with the 700, it feels very similar to a KRZR due to its narrow, tall design.


You can compare Sanyo PRO-200 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 200 is not built to Military Specs, and loses the rubber housing found on the 700. Instead, the flip and keypad housing is constructed of a smooth, silver plastic. The rear of the phone, as well as the speakerphone bump at the bottom of the face, is finished in black soft-touch. This leads to a smoother in-hand experience and the 200 feels distinctly smaller than the 700 despite near equal dimensions.


The layout of the 200 is identical to the 700 due to the shared internals. The speakerphone microphone is at the top of the closed flip, below that is the LCD and on the hump is the speaker/speakerphone with the PTT status LED. The outer display is again high-contrast black and white and could probably be read on the sun. The left side features a volume rocker, NDC button and covered microUSB charging/data port. On the right you’ll find the covered 2.5mm headset jack, a speakerphone toggle key and the side end key. The back is plain, with only two recessed screw holes up top and a locking slide for the battery door near the bottom. Like on the 700, the “Nextel Direct Connect” sticker points to the NDC button.

The flip mechanism is tight and feels great, and thankfully there is no click when it is opened and closed. The internal LCD display is 1.9” and QVGA resolution. It’s on the small side, but is bright and crisp and can be read in all lighting conditions. The navigational cluster of keys is a concentric ring, with the 5 way directional pad in the middle. On the outer ring has, working clockwise from 11 o’clock, the Left Soft Key, Text, Right Soft Key, Back, End, Speaker, Send, and Web keys. The 12 key dialpad is a bit more user-friendly than the one found on the 700; numbers are slightly bigger and they seem easier to press. The keys, along with the NDC button, are all backlit in a cool blue. All of them offer a reassuring click, leaving no doubt that they have been pressed.


The PRO-200 is a well crafted phone, but its aesthetics leave a bit to be desired. Plain is the best way to describe it, some might even say retro. It is, however, the entry level QChat phone and the design is professional if nothing else, so we’re glad Sanyo has erred on the side of caution as they have never been known for their design.



Sanyo PRO-200 Video Review:



Sanyo PRO-200 360 Degrees View




Interface:

The PRO-200 features a familiar Sanyo interface, and in fact uses the same menu as the 700. The top level menu has nine subcategories: History, Messaging, Tools, Web, Missed Alerts, Contacts, Navigation, My Content and Settings. The Settings menu is still plagued with 22 subfolders, most of which lead into an even deeper rabbit hole, but that is our only real gripe with the UI.

The phone is very customizable, something we always like to see. The left and right Soft Keys are hardcoded to Favorites and Contacts, but Favorites allows the user to assign up to 12 shortcuts. So, with the 4 hardcoded and 4 soft coded keys around the d-pad, and 12 favorites, the user has 20 shortcuts that can be accessed in one or two clicks. Pretty impressive. The Sanyo menu system has a lot of things going for it, we just wish they’d clean it up a bit.

The phonebook can hold up to 600 entries and a total of 4200 numbers, 1800 email addresses and 600 web addresses. Obviously, each contact can store multiple phone numbers along with a NDC number. Contacts can be customized with personal ringers and a picture ID. In addition to personal contacts, the phone can hold up to 25 Group Connect entries (which in turn contain up to 40 NDC numbers) and 40 TeamDC numbers.

Unfortunately Sanyo’s archaic voice tag system is back, making voice dialing cumbersome and limited. We were excited to see VoiceSignal on a low-end model like the Katana LX and hoped it meant all models would be getting the wonderful voice dialing program, but unfortunately not.


Software:

The Navigation menu option takes the user to Sprint Navigation. Sprint is heavily pushing this service and its Everything plans, so it is not a big surprise to see this as an easy-access menu item. The rest of the user’s applications can be accessed from the My Content folder. The phone runs Java apps, and there are countless free and paid programs out there for the user to download.

The WAP browser is the same Access Net Front browser found on past models. The Sprint deck is lightning fast over Rev. A, but it doesn’t handle HTML pages all that well. As usual, we recommend Opera Mini for a better browsing solution.


The 200 has Bluetooth 2.0 and supports the HSP, HFP, DUN, OPP, PBA and BPP profiles.

Other standards are in place, such as a basic planner, calculator, alarm clock, world clock, etc. The user can set up to five alarms, and has several recurring options such as a specific day, weekly and only on the weekends. The calendar is thin on features as you’d expect, but setting up basic appointments works well enough. The rest of the applications are all basic, but get the job done. No one is buying this phone for its PIM functionality.

Mobile Sync is again on-board. We gave a more in-depth look in our PRO-700 review, but basically it is a real-time contact sync between the phone and a web tool and allows users remotely wipe the phone if it is ever lost. Unlike its predecessor, Wireless Backup, Mobile Sync is a free program which is always great. There’s even a free administrator version, allowing businesses to keep all their phones on the same page.



Performance:

As a PTT phone the 200 was great.  Call setup and latency was as lightning fast as we were used to on the iDEN network.  We were able to walkie-talkie both iDEN and QChat customers with no difference between the two.  However, as we noted in our PRO-700 review, there were times when the NDC service was not available while in Rev. A coverage.  We tested these units at the same time- pre-national launch- so we’ll give Sprint the benefit of the doubt but hope the issue is addressed.

The PRO-200 displayed the common Sanyo strengths and weaknesses.  The reception was top notch and the speakerphone was great.  Callers said we sounded “good, but not great,” nothing that we sounded a bit thin or distant.  While plenty loud, we had the same result on our end and have seen this from Sanyos for years.  Sanyo does very well in important areas like reception and volume, it’s time for them to focus on sound quality.  The speakerphone was on par with Motorola iDEN speakerphones, which in our opinion are the best in the business.

Bluetooth performance was surprisingly good.  Users on the other end actually couldn’t tell that we were using a headset, which is rare.  On our end callers actually sounded better because there was some depth to their voice, which makes us think Sanyo’s earpiece is the cause for thin audio.  Audio routed through Bluetooth for DC calls as well, but the NDC button still needs to be used to talk to the caller.

Battery life is rated at 5 hours of talk time, though we fell short by about 45 minutes.  Still, 4.2 hours of talk time is on the high end for CDMA devices.  It should be noted that once the phone is provisioned for PTT the standby time drops significantly, down to about 75 hours.  Despite a solid talk time, this will probably be a phone you’ll need to charge at least every other night, if not daily.

Conclusion:

Like the PRO-700, the 200 does what it sets out to.  It does not have any bells and whistles, advanced features or anything that will wow you.  It is a basic, clear-cut PTT phone that offers simple to use features geared to the everyday customer.  Like the features, the design is simple and straightforward.  Perched at the bottom of the QChat lineup, the PRO-200 will find its way into many hands due to its price for users who don’t want cameras or need Mil Spec ruggedness.  If you’re in the market for a basic PTT phone the PRO-200 is our recommendation.



Pros

  • Good PTT performance
  • Highly customizable
  • Quality construction
  • Rev. A data

Cons

  • Battery fell short of advertised, but is still good enough
  • Boring design
  • Small display

PhoneArena Rating:

7.5

User Rating:

5.5
3 Reviews

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